Update letter, Feb. 2012

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Psalm 68:5-6 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.

UNICEF estimates that there are about 13 million orphans in the world who have lost both parents, and each year there are about 130,000 adoptions in the US. But only 13,000 of those are international adoptions, and so as a nation we’re only caring for about 1 in 1,000 orphans globally.
Abby and I have felt a desire to respond to God’s call to serve the fatherless for sometime, and because we feel that we have the ability to add more children to our family, we have decided to move forward with adopting children. And while we know that the Dominican Republic is one of the most difficult countries to adopt from, we also know that God didn’t bring us here by mistake. One of the hardest things for adoptees to overcome is the sense of loss they feel on many fronts – loss of parents, loss of country, loss of language, loss of culture, potentially loss of siblings, and more. And so we feel that our experiences here in the DR make us uniquely suited to adopt Dominican children, and we hope to adopt a sibling pair in order to reduce the sense of loss that these children will feel from the long list mentioned above, and to keep brothers and sisters united in a family.
As you will see from the verses on this page, God has a heart for adoption. What’s more, adoption is one of the foremost analogies used in the Bible to relate what God has done for us – that he would take sinful and fallen people and still receive them into his own family. That he would pay a great price to restore relationship to himself. That he would adopt us as sons, and if sons then heirs – even though we didn’t do anything to deserve it.
The comment that we often hear about adoption from others is a cautionary one – that adoption is difficult, that it is challenging in ways that are different than biological children, and that integrating children with a history of institutionalization into your family will be hard. But I want all of you to know that we are fully aware of this, and that we accept it. We are well informed of the challenges, and we embrace them. Things that are worth doing, things that create meaningful change, things that make a difference, always require sacrifice.
What does God’s word bring to bear on this? Paul tells us in Romans that we are adopted by God as His sons, and we can cry out to him as our Father. But we must share in Christ’s suffering to share in his glory.
Romans 8: 14-17 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
And so we ask that you would pray for us as we enter this journey, and that you would pray for the children God has chosen for us and who are at this moment waiting to be matched to our family. The process is long and can be riddled with setbacks, but we trust God to sustain us through it all.
With love,
Harley, Abby, Kaden, Tavin, Logan
P.S. We have completed a homestudy, and hope to be matched sometime in the next year.
Psalm 41:1 “Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.”
John 1:12-13 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children not born of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will,
but born of God.”
Psalm 10: 14,17-18
“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; You consider their grief and take it in hand. You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed.
Isaiah 1: 17 “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Eph 1:5 “In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”
Matt 18:4-5 “Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Matt 25:40 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”
Gal 4: 4-7 “But when the time had fully come, god sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God


About harleymc31

My wife Abby and I are missionaries in the Dominican Republic, working as a High School Math and Science teachers at Doulos Discovery School. We are joined by our three boys, aged 9, 7, and 5 who attend the same school and bring us untold joy every day.
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